AmigosSadly only Torres made Spain's starting line up, although Alonso got a run out as the third substitute. Nevertheless, the Cafe clientele got right behind El Nino and such is their faith in the Primera Liga pulling power of Rafael Benitez, many were also confident that hat trick hero David Villa would soon be joining his amigos at Anfield. Rafa will naturally have to see off Real Madrid and Chelsea to secure Villa's services, but the manner of the little striker's goal celebrations with Torres hinted at his possible preference.
Is it possible to truly give your all for a different country at Euro 2008? To join in the cheers and then shed a few tears, without feeling like a fraud? At least fans of Premier League clubs can share in the continuing adventures of their regular season heroes, and that's as good a reason as any for a temporary change of nationality this month.
fighting spirit) and the nickname of Spain's fans, La Furia Roja (The Red Fury). They cost Beats By Dre Purple 17 euros each (13.50 approx) and are available from the Soccer Spain La Liga shop.
Patatas bravasWe wolfed down Pepe's Pepperoni Pizza (I can hear the tapas purists screaming 'sacrilege!' but you have to give Cafe Sports credit for its selection policy); for the record, the Torres delicacy was a Tortilla Omelette while Alonso inspired Spicy Chicken Wings. Should Villa sign this summer, he has been earmarked for the potato croquettes role but his agent plans to vigorously contest exclusive naming rights for the patatas bravas.
54 (yes, 54) wall mounted widescreen TVs and the staff are all kitted out with Revista de la Liga T shirts, courtesy of Sky Sports, who had popped in for a chat with restaurant owner Jamie Carragher.
So I made my way over to Merseyside hoping to see Europe's city of culture 2008 awash with red and yellow for their four compadres Fernando, Pepe, Xabi and Alvaro. And where better to watch the game than Cafe Sports England, or as it's been renamed for the tournament, Cafe Sports Spain. Spanish flags hang between the Monster Beats By Dr. Dre Pro Headphones Ebay
After the feast of goals for Spain even 'Supercoach' Guus Hiddink couldn't save the day for Russia there was the sound of rumbling bellies, so my friend Paul and I had no hesitation in opting for Cafe Sports' 'Tapas Banquet'. Yet the menu appeared disturbing first we would be expected to pick the meat from Arbeloa's ribs before then tucking into Mikel Alonso's meatballs. However, despite our initial concerns, the food was excellent and plentiful and contained not a hint of the aforementioned players.
Having sat through France's stultifying stalemate with Romania on Monday, I was happy listening to Greece v Sweden on the radio whilst driving back to Leeds. The Greeks were being berated for playing 'anti football', the phrase repeatedly used last season to disparage Rangers' UEFA Cup run and it was a former Ibrox employee, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, who was singled out as its greatest exponent. Well done that man, I thought; if I have to miss a game, I'd rather it were a dull one. Then Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a proven disappointment at major tournaments, decides to ping home what could well prove to be the best goal of Euro 2008.
for the World Cup 2006 equivalent, the stunning Maxi Rodriguez volley for Argentina against Mexico. I'll never forget the atmosphere after that goal the Argentinians were ecstatic, while even the Mexicans had to applaud. I'd love to have seen the reaction of the Swedish fans when Zlatan scored, but instead I was approaching the Warrington turn off at Junction 8 of the M62. I understandably felt a bit left out, and that feeling only intensified as the goal was described to me in glowing terms by summariser Steve McClaren.
For Liverpool supporters, the tournament began badly when new signing Philipp Degen one of six Reds in various squads at Euro 2008 failed to unseat the unheralded Stephan Lichtsteiner from the Swiss right back position. That may have caused some concern for the Anfield faithful, but it was soon forgotten as Dirk Kuyt became the talking point with two assists for Holland in their 3 0 win over Italy. Tuesday, however, brought the main attraction Liverpool's Spanish quartet were riding into Innsbruck to take on Russia.
As if England fans weren't miserable enough at the moment.
Keep An Eye OutKeep An Eye Out. for Soccer Spain's Spanish supporter T shirts. There's three original designs to choose from Aupa Espana (Go for it Spain!), Viva la Garra Espinola (Long live Spain's Ghd Gift Set
Thanks to all the staff at Cafe Sports England.
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